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A Better Way to Employ Email Segmentation

“The reason this approach falls short is you never have an overview of your program,” Yale says. “There are a bunch of people who have never bought on your web site who end up not receiving any messaging for three months. And then you send them 10 emails on Black Friday and you wonder why you have deliverability problems.”

Most marketers approach segmentation backwards, says Alexandre Yale, head of analytics for Alchemy Worx.

Usually, what happens is someone will want to send a campaign pitching a certain product or service and they’ll send messages to everyone on their electronic messaging file who has bought that product or service.

“The reason this approach falls short is you never have an overview of your program,” he says. “There are a bunch of people who have never bought on your website who end up not receiving any messaging for three months. And then you send them ten emails on Black Friday, and you wonder why you have deliverability problems.”

Enter audience management.

The idea behind audience management is breaking the list into groups from high value to low value and making sure everyone on the list gets messaging at an optimal cadence based on behavior.

“So we say ‘these people are my best customers’ and they get everything,” Yale says. “‘These people are my medium customers’ and they get a medium amount of messaging. ‘These people are my worst customers’ and they get the least messaging.”

But everybody gets something, allowing the sender to tweak messaging to figure out what the best cadence is for each segment to drive the most revenue.

Segments vary from sender to sender, but they’re generally divided under two criteria: how often they purchase, if at all, and how recently they engaged. For example, segments may include: buyers who engaged in the last 30 days, buyers who engaged within 90 days, non-buyers who engaged within the last 30 days, and non-buyers who engaged within 90 days.

The important aspect of audience management is establishing a well-managed cadence for all subscribers so everyone gets some messaging and no one gets too much.

Yale explains, “Using opens, clicks, unsubscribes and revenue per message, it is up to the individual sender to determine the threshold of diminishing returns at which to cap sending volume.”

Next week, we’ll share some of the watch-outs for segmentation so that you can drive revenue more effectively through your customer list.

If you think audience management sounds complicated, we’re happy to help.

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